Braised Elk Shoulder



  • 10 pounds elk (shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons juniper berries (dried)
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup chili peppers (dried guajillo)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 heads garlic cloves (young whole)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried figs (diced)
  • 1/2 bottle white wine
  • 12 onion tops (spring, chopped)
  • 1 handful thyme (fresh picked)
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    Made it


    1. Make a rub by adding juniper berries, fennel seeds, salt, and guajillo peppers to a dry saute pan and roasting gently over medium-high heat until spices become fragrant. Set aside to cool. Grind spices into a coarse grain and rub this mixture over the elk meat until well coated.
    2. Pour olive oil into a cast iron or large heavy bottom pan. Place over high heat and brown in batches. It’s important not to crowd the pan to receive optimum browning\, and avoid steaming. Add more oil to pan as needed, continue to brown meat in batches. Remove meat and set aside.
    3. Add 6 heads of young whole garlic cloves, dried figs, white wine, spring onion tops, 1 quart of water and one handful of fresh picked thyme to the pot. Bring to a boil, add meat and all the juices that have collected to the pan and reduce to a simmer. Cover, place into a 350 F degree oven. Cook for 3 hours or until tender.
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